I like that movement on social media where people try to tear down the illusion that everyone on Facebook is as happy and perfect as they appear in their fabulous photos of birthday gatherings, tropical getaways, and athletic victories.
If you’re a loyal reader (and thanks if you are) you know I’m pretty optimistic by nature and can usually find the sunny view on the cloudiest day. But lately life’s been dishing out some less than perfect moments, so I thought I’d share one with you to balance out all those shiny smiles in the pictures we post.
In the last month, we’ve had no less than three plumbing emergencies. The first was a frozen pipe that burst and leaked in a first floor coat closet. About a week later– and completely coincidentally– our very old water heater broke, flooding our basement and requiring replacement. Some bad luck, we thought.
So imagine our shock and frustration when we returned from the glorious weekend celebrating Wilson’s brother’s wedding, to find water pouring out from a light fixture and the ceiling in our kitchen, and the counter and floor soaked from the leak.
Wilson– like many men– tends to feel very out of control when we have house issues too big for him to diagnose, much less fix. There’s a lot of yelling, hand wringing and mumbling…. for days. Then there’s the bellyaching at the plumber’s bill.
I’m sure our misfortune has helped our plumber purchase that fishing boat he’s always wanted.
So last Saturday night when I was coming down the stairs, dressed up to go to dinner and I heard the guttural shouts of “NOOOOOO!!!” I panicked. My stomach tightened and visions of Noah’s flood sloshed through my head.
I ran into the kitchen …but there was not a drop in sight. There was only Wilson holding an empty plate, and screaming obscenities.
You see in the 5 minutes I ran upstairs to reapply lipstick and Wilson stepped into the family room to catch the score of an NCAA basketball game, our beloved puppy, Brady had inhaled all 18 brownies I had baked and lovingly stacked on a plate, covered in plastic wrap to bring to a dinner party.
If you don’t already know, chocolate is toxic for dogs. A dog Brady’s size (about 58 lbs) might be able to eat one or two and just feel sick, but 18 were sure to poison him.
I called our heroic vet– who always drops whatever he’s doing on a Saturday night — to help. He advised us to give Brady one ounce of hydrogen peroxide to make him throw up the dastardly dessert. We, of course, didn’t have any, so Wilson rushed out to the store like a speed demon and was back in 10 minutes. He held Brady’s mouth open while I poured the liquid in.
And then we waited.
The vet — graciously answering all my frantic texts– said it would take 3-4 minutes for him to spew the sweets. But nothing was happening.
There I was, standing in my high heels and leather jacket, perfumed and coiffed and ready for a glass of wine but instead had to roll up my sleeves and get into crisis mode. (It reminded me of the time last year when both my kids got sick the night we were at a cocktail party.)
After 15 anxious but puke-less minutes, we gave Brady a second dose, at the vet’s suggestion. Then he started pacing around the kitchen and we could hear his belly gurgling. It was a little too reminiscent of the scene in Stand By Me when Lard-Ass gets his Barf-a-rama revenge.
The second dose did the trick, and for the next 90 minutes I waited for Brady to chuck the chocolate, and counted the brownies as I cleaned it up. (Wilson is handy in many situations but he doesn’t do puke.)
Two pieces of good news: most of the brownies reappeared (many still whole) so we knew he was going to be okay…and the puke smelled like chocolate so the cleanup was not as gross as it could have been.
Our friends at the dinner party — who texted words of sympathy and encouragement throughout the ordeal– told us to come on over, despite our tardiness and bad dog-parenting skills. We drove as fast as we could to flee the scene of the crime. We really needed a drink!
There is no moral of the story– except maybe that Brady can’t be trusted for even a second. I thought I’d share the messy details to give you a laugh and keep it real.
What disasters have you survived lately? Tell me in the comments.